The United Arab Emirates is often praised for the way that it has handled this whole Covid Pandemic. A well deserved reputation for the most part. Even though there is a second rise in cases, we still have not gone into another full lockdown like most countries. Possibly because the real mortality rate of the this pandemic is actually really, really low. So it has been handled well. However I have a complaint.
Now that the Covid vaccines have been released, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has handed it over to 3 – 4 clinics to administer the vaccines to the public; completely free of charge. This is pretty good.
However these so called government clinics are run by a 3rd party organization called Pure Health – and I believe they are dropping the ball.
For the most part, the vaccinations seem to be going perfectly well. But not if you are unfortunate enough to have gotten your first dose from the center in Al Qusais area of Dubai; which is run by Pure Health.
For the past 3 – 4 days, I have been trying to get the second dose of the vaccine. When I was getting the 1st dose, it was pretty easy, fast and actually painless. The 2nd dose, I cannot even get into the building. The nurse administering the vaccination informed me that I “MUST” get the 2nd dose after “EXACTLY” 21 days; otherwise, it would not be valid and perhaps I would need to go through the whole thing again.
Considering that the second dose is “time critical”, you would think that the 2nd dosage should be prioritized and managed better. It’s not. Not even close. For the whole 3 weeks after my first visit, the clinic has been only taking in families and ladies; completely ignoring a whole segment of the population, which actually happens to be the largest number – the bachelors or the working class & laborers who are here without families.
4 days ago, I reported to get my second dose and I was told to come back after a month. ONE MONTH?!! What would be the point of beginning this whole exercise if I am not able to complete it?!..
I was told that the clinic was out of vaccines. Was this the truth? No.. it wasn’t. They were only letting in people with families, whereas the queue for the bachelors ran around the building twice with varying degrees of “social distancing”. For the most part, people were queuing up in the typical Indian sub-continential fashion.
Once the daily announcement comes, “NO MORE VACCINES”.. and the bachelors have dispersed, the clinic then proceeds to take in a few determined ones – mostly spinsters and families again.
So why don’t I just go somewhere else? There is also no point in turning up at the another clinic. The rule is that you are supposed to turn up to the same clinic that you received the 1st vaccine from. I met another frustrated person in queue said that he had visited 3 places and they told him to report to the same place he got the 1st dose.
After the 3rd day of queuing up early morning to get my shot and then being turned away, I had enough and made a complaint to the ministry of Health. I had a few choice swear words to use but I held my tongue. This day, I queued up in the morning at 07am, in a line that already circled the entire block – twice; and all were single men, waiting for their second dose. I heard that those who had their first dose in other centers, had a more easier time getting the second. This clinic was clearly dropping the ball. After standing in line for hours, the police suddenly show up and ask people to go away. To top it all off, now the clinic suddenly put up a notice that wanted us to make appointments online; using a site that does not work. I was angry and called the ministry. Someone had to speak up. I had a few choice swear words to use but I held my tongue.
So my complaint focused on why this one was not receiving the number of vaccines it needed with such a crowd. I also complained that being time sensitive, we needed our doses on time. I already saw people who’s time had passed being turned away – complaining that it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t get their shots in time. Certainly, they should complain. They should be mad; as would I – as I am now.. This is clear mismanagement and a lack of planning on the part of Pure Health.
On the phone with the person from the ministry of Health, I was pleased to have someone who agreed with the points I made. He told me of another clinic that was set up to handle laborers and those in my segment and gave me the location.
I visited the place and again it was run by Pure Health. However this tiny place seemed to manage the queues better and was run by a lady from one of the Slavic countries. I was not happy to see them prioritize families at this clinic as well. It seemed unfair because there were plenty of clinics that took in families already. However, after queuing up at 7am, I was done by noon. Towards the end, I could sense it was coming a moment where they were going to say, “No More Vaccines”.. but I managed to get through.
Again, I saw some people were turned away because they had missed their deadlines; to no fault of their own. Pure Health is clearly to blame for that.. Not them. I feel that they should take into account the dates at which the people have received the first shots and then administer the second based on that.
Anyways, I am done with the vaccination – until they say otherwise. I feel that Pure Health at the Al Qusais clinic needs to get their act together.
Categories: Life in Dubai